WBEZ | sexism http://www.wbez.org/tags/sexism Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Northwestern study minimizes racism one nap at a time http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-study-minimizes-racism-one-nap-time-113530 <p><p dir="ltr">I think of myself as a feminist. I actually have <a href="http://nerdettepodcast.com/">a podcast that celebrates women in science</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">So who knew even I could have an unconscious bias against women in science?</p><p dir="ltr">Well, <a href="http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~paller/">Ken Paller</a>, for one.</p><p dir="ltr">He&rsquo;s a psychology professor at Northwestern University, and he says no matter how open minded you think you are, you harbor unconscious stereotypes.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We might use those stereotypes as a shortcut sometimes,&rdquo; Paller said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you meet a new person, you don&#39;t know them yet, you might look at their external appearance and make judgment about what they might be and what their personality might be like. That can be a mistake. It can be a difficult shortcut, but yet it&#39;s a common shortcut that people make.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The official term for those shortcuts is implicit social bias, and Paller said we all have at least a little bit of it. Paller told me about <a href="https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html">a test you can take online to measure your own bias</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">So I took it.</p><p dir="ltr">And I found out that I have a moderate automatic preference for men in science over women in science.</p><p dir="ltr">When I think about it, that makes sense. I&rsquo;ve always considered the humanities to be more feminine, and the sciences to be more masculine.</p><p dir="ltr">I know that&rsquo;s irrational, but it&rsquo;s more common than we might think.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/implicit_gj_wbez.JPG" style="height: 227px; width: 320px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Dana Bozeman in her office in downtown Chicago. (WBEZ/Greta Johnsen)" />One Sunday afternoon, I met up with Dana Bozeman, a friend of a friend who said she was willing to take the test with me and talk about her results.</p><p dir="ltr">Bozeman is African American. Like me, she was a little nervous to find out what her subconscious tendencies were.</p><p dir="ltr">But more than that, she was curious. She decided to find out how biased she might be about race.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Ok, here we go,&rdquo; she said with a deep breath.</p><p dir="ltr">Ten minutes later, after a sort of matching game, Bozeman read me the outcome of her test.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Your results: Your data suggest a moderate automatic preference for European Americans compared to African Americans,&rdquo; Bozeman read with narrowed eyes.</p><p dir="ltr">She shook her head. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not terribly surprised.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Bozeman said she wasn&rsquo;t surprised because she sees negative media coverage of black people everywhere. And that sometimes makes her feel negative toward black people.</p><p dir="ltr">Feeling that way completely goes against her own values.</p><p dir="ltr">But Paller, the psychologist at Northwestern, says that kind of dissonance is also completely universal.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Virtually everyone has an implicit social bias for race and gender,&rdquo; Paller said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We pick it up from the media, from our inculturation over many years. So these are longstanding habits. And we wouldn&rsquo;t expect to change them overnight.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Treating bias during sleep</strong></span></p><p dir="ltr">The thing is, Paller&rsquo;s team did change them overnight.</p><p dir="ltr">Or at least, during an afternoon nap.</p><p dir="ltr">Paller knew that all sorts of experts have been using the <a href="https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html">Implicit Association Test</a>, the same one Bozeman and I took, to reduce bias. What he wanted to find out was if he could help make somebody less biased on a long term basis by using sleep, and some very specific sounds.</p><p dir="ltr">Here&rsquo;s how he did it: First, he&rsquo;d measure people&rsquo;s bias by having them take the implicit association test. It&rsquo;s almost like a matching game.</p><p dir="ltr">When I visited the lab, I played around with it. It was NOT easy. You have to push certain keys as quickly as possible, and your response time is measured by the millisecond. Test subjects play the game over and over, trying to get faster at making the connections that defy their own stereotypes.</p><p dir="ltr">Paller and his team were testing for two stereotypes: gender bias, and racial bias. Every time subjects played the game for gender, and connected science words with women, &nbsp;they&rsquo;d hear a unique sound. When they connected positive words with the faces of African Americans, they&rsquo;d hear another tone. Then, while the subjects are curled up in a tiny room to take a 90-minute nap, Paller and his team reinforced the learning that just happened by playing one of those two sounds over and over again. A subject would hear the sound in his or her sleep more than 100 times.</p><p dir="ltr">The theory is, if people heard the same sound while they slept, they&rsquo;d better remember the training they just learned.</p><p dir="ltr">And it works.</p><p dir="ltr">Paller, whose expertise is memory storage during sleep, says when we&rsquo;re lying in bed, we might seem to be at rest, but our brains are still hard at work, filing away memories and ditching information we don&rsquo;t need.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;A lot of complicated brain processing is happening during sleep. It&rsquo;s not like your laptop, when you shut it off to sleep and nothing happens,&rdquo; Paller said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Instead, the brain is continually processing information and we&rsquo;re trying to understand what&rsquo;s happening when that memory processing is happening.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">By playing those sounds while a subject slept, Paller was able to reinforce the positive stereotypes. And there were signs that it could actually last.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Fighting bias in everyday life</strong></span></p><p dir="ltr">What all this means for real life is that we have to be more in tune with our own negative stereotypes, and then keep resetting them.</p><p dir="ltr">Dana Bozeman, the woman who took the bias test, says her results will make her reconsider her own thoughts and actions.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think I also think about it for my children,&rdquo; Bozeman said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I recognize that...they have a lot more positive images that I have&hellip;. I mean, my children were born in 2006 and 2008. So to them, the president&rsquo;s always been black.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Experts say you can think of implicit bias as a bad habit.</p><p dir="ltr">Every time you catch yourself thinking or behaving against your values, you have to stop yourself and try to correct it.</p><p dir="ltr">They say that means intentionally seeking out, and interacting with, people with different experiences and backgrounds from your own.</p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-820e66b6-aee0-f38c-fbfd-3968df600333"><a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/05/unlearning-implicit-social-biases-during-sleep.html">The Northwestern study</a>, called Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep, was published in &nbsp;<a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6238/1013.short">the journal Science</a> earlier this year. It was coauthored by Xiaoqing Hu, James Antony, Jessica Creery, Iliana Vargas, and Galen Bodenhausen.</span></em></p><p><em>Greta Johnsen is a reporter and host for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/gretamjohnsen">@gretamjohnsen</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 27 Oct 2015 18:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-study-minimizes-racism-one-nap-time-113530 Three decades as a Chicago policewoman http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/three-decades-chicago-policewoman-111781 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 150327 PatHayes bh.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>When <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2001-02-16/news/0102160213_1_policewoman-policewomen-chicago-police-force">Pat Hays started with the Chicago Police in the 1960s</a>, her uniform was a skirt with a box jacket and &ldquo;a ridiculous hat shaped like a sugar scoop. And it didn&rsquo;t matter how many bobby pins you used, that damned hat would lift up in the wind and go trailing down the street. So if you got a choice of losing your hat or losing your prisoner, the hats were $40 apiece and there weren&rsquo;t that many available. It was a one-of-a-kind deal. You couldn&rsquo;t even find a hat to replace the hat that belonged to you. So of course we held on to the hat. You could always get the prisoner later.&rdquo;</p><p>StoryCorps producer Maya Millett interviewed Hays at home and they talked about Hays&rsquo; three decades on the force. When she started, the belief that you were a policewoman because you serviced all of the bosses was common, Hays said.</p><p>Once, Hays was part of a new unit, and the man she was working with asked how she got the job. She didn&rsquo;t say anything and after about ten minutes he kept at it. He accused her of sleeping with one of the bosses. She kept quiet.</p><p>He kept pestering her and finally asked, &ldquo;Which one are you sleeping with?&rdquo;</p><p>Hays says he looked him right in the eye and said, &ldquo;<em>All</em> of them.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;And I won the pissing contest,&rdquo; Hays said. &ldquo;A lot of times it was just brains over brawn.&rdquo;</p><p>The job took a toll on Hays&rsquo; marriage. She says she wouldn&rsquo;t want her daughters to follow in her footsteps. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t want them to put up with the things I did,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t want them to see the things that I saw.&rdquo;</p><p>In spite of the negatives, Hays said, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s kind of a calling. Nobody&rsquo;s gonna tell you you did a good job. Your sergeant&rsquo;s not going to tell you how great you are&hellip;but you have to be able to go home knowing that you did some good, you helped somebody along the way, or the person that you talked to today is in a better situation than when you dealt with her.&rdquo;</p><p>Hays says when she finally retired, it wasn&rsquo;t because she was tired of the job or that she was tired of talking to people.</p><p>&ldquo;It was because I couldn&rsquo;t stand all of the nonsense that the bosses were going through,&ldquo; she said, &ldquo;I still like solving people&rsquo;s problems. I would have done it forever. It was the paramilitary mindset that I had the most trouble with.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/three-decades-chicago-policewoman-111781 Morning Shift: The relationship between mental health and eating http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-20/morning-shift-relationship-between-mental-health-and <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/anorexia Flickr schnappischnap.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>May is Mental Health Month, so we take a look at the connection between eating right and mental health. We also look at the latest efforts to get a new trauma center at the University of Chicago Medical Center.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-relationship-between-eatng-and-m/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-relationship-between-eatng-and-m.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-relationship-between-eatng-and-m" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The relationship between mental health and eating" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 20 May 2014 07:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-20/morning-shift-relationship-between-mental-health-and Marvel Comic's new female Muslim superhero http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/marvel-comics-new-female-muslim-superhero-109122 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Marvel AP.jpg" style="height: 376px; width: 620px;" title="The image released by Marvel Comics shows character Kamala Khan, second left, with her family Aamir, father Yusuf, mother Disha and friend Bruno, from the &quot;Ms. Marvel&quot; issue. (Marvel Comics/AP)" /></div></div><p>Marvel Comics&#39; newest superhero is more than just a symbol of diversity and a deviation from the white, male norm that Spiderman, Wolverine, Captain America, and countless other comic book heroes occupy.</p><p><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/06/showbiz/ms-marvel-muslim-superhero/" target="_blank">Kamala Khan</a>, a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City, also looks and sounds like a real person, albeit with extraordinary powers.</p><p>In a universe where most female superheroes are impossibly stacked and Barbie doll-proportioned (to draw ogling male eyes) Khan is a refreshing change of pace. She is pretty, yes, but rock-hard body &quot;hotness&quot; is not what defines her. &nbsp;</p><p>Writer G. Willow Wilson, a convert to Islam, says Khan was created as a true-to-life person teenagers could relate to.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s for all the geek girls out there, and everybody else who&#39;s ever looked at life on the fringe,&quot; Wilson said in a statement.</p><p>Khan, who will make her debut in January, is radically different from most of Marvel&#39;s most popular female superheroes, but also appealingly meta for a fanbase already attached to legacy characters. While she lives with conservative Pakistani parents, she fits the mold of an angsty teenager and an outsider in school.</p><p>She also is an avid reader of Marvel comic books.&nbsp;</p><p>So when she discovers her superhuman power as a polymorph &mdash; being able to lengthen her arms and legs and change shape &mdash; she takes on the name Ms. Marvel, a title which previously belonged to the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Carol Danvers. Now, Khan&#39;s story will be the one to inspire a new generation of girls and boys.</p><p>Series editor Sana Amanat, who also worked on Ultimate Spiderman and Ultimate X-Men comic books for Marvel, told <a href="http://www.deccanchronicle.com/131110/news-current-affairs/article/pow-zap-marvel-comics-present-teenage-female-muslim-superhero" target="_blank">Reuters</a> that a reflection of the Muslim-American experience through the eyes of a teenage girl creates a font of endless possibilities.</p><p>&quot;We are always trying to upend expectations to an extent, but our point is to always reflect the world outside our window, and we are looking through a lot more windows right now,&quot; she said.&nbsp;</p><p>In fact, the idea for this new kind of superhero came from a conversation that Amanat had with her senior editor, Steve Wacker, about her own experiences growing up as a Muslim-American.</p><p>&quot;He was interested in the dilemma I faced as a young girl and the next day he came in and said, &#39;Wouldn&#39;t it be great to have a superhero that was for all the little girls that grew up just like you, and who are growing up just like you are today, and to create a character they can be inspired by?&#39;&quot; said Amanat.&nbsp;</p><p>Of course, girls have been inspired by female superheroes from the moment Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in 1941. But more than 70 years later, the endless parade of unbelievably bodacious babes in skin-tight bodysuits has begun to wear thin.</p><p>Female comic book fans need more than a strong, independent woman with superpowers and a slamming body to stay interested. We need diversity, in every sense of the word: racially, culturally, intellectually, and physically.</p><p>In my opinion, this is in part why so many comic book films and TV shows helmed by female superheroes (Elektra, Catwoman, and the Wonder Woman series that never made it to air) have fallen flat in recent years. The average woman or adolsecent girl has to fall in love with these characters too. If all she sees is plastic, how can she relate?</p><p>I&#39;m excited to see all of the new stories that the creators of Kamala Khan will bring to life, but I also long for more.</p><p>When will we see a mainstream superhero who is gender-queer or transgender? Why do the female characters continue to be drawn to serve the male gaze, with their supermodel sexiness and perfectly-chiseled abs? Isn&#39;t it about time we had a full-bodied female superhero, or at the very least, more&nbsp;<a href="http://geektyrant.com/news/2013/4/3/fully-clothed-female-superheroes-geek-art.html" target="_blank">fully-clothed</a>&nbsp;ones?&nbsp;</p><p>Still, the good news is that times are changing, and Kamala Khan has punched a hole through the glass ceiling with a resounding smash.</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett.</a></em></p></p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 10:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/marvel-comics-new-female-muslim-superhero-109122 'Big Brother' 15: an opportunity to discuss discrimination of all forms http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-07/big-brother-15-opportunity-discuss-discrimination-all-forms-108178 <p><div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/big-brother-768.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 310px; float: left;" title="(CBS)" /></div></div><div>&#39;Only what can be seen can be considered real. Reality is not based on what you tell me, but what I choose to see and believe and recognize. Everything else holds no place in my world. &#39;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This mindset appears on the surface to be harmless enough, but when it comes to forms of discrimination and prejudice, the voice of the narrator is far too often considered as unbelievable as the events themselves. As a society, we have been taught to recognize homophobia or racism or sexism in as blatant of terms as possible, and ignore the smaller things.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When I was younger, I had a friend who had a difficult time understanding the microagressions I faced in my seemingly diverse school. <a href="http://www.div17.org/TAAR/media/topics/microaggressions.php" target="_blank">According to TAARM</a> (Taking Action Against Racism in the Media), microagressions are, &ldquo;brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults towards people of color. Those who inflict racial microaggressions are often unaware that they have done anything to harm another person.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Are you sure you&rsquo;re not just over thinking things?&rdquo; she would ask when, for example, during regulated classroom debates or discussions, my teacher would call me &ldquo;aggressive,&rdquo; &ldquo;angry,&rdquo; and &ldquo;confrontational&rdquo; whenever I disagreed with a fellow classmate.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;What else do I need to prove my point?&rdquo; I would ask her. &ldquo;A burning cross?&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It was not until my parents came to see him that he &ndash; a seemingly &ldquo;perfect&rdquo; far-left liberal &ndash; recognized that his words spoken in front of the entire class were problematic, at best, and emotionally crippling at worst.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For <a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels/changing-channels-podcast" target="_blank">the first episode</a> of WBEZ&rsquo;s <a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbezs-changing-channels" target="_blank"><em>Changing Channels</em></a> podcast, I said that <em>Big Brother</em> was one of my most anticipated shows of the summer. Like every other summer, I looked forward to the drama, manipulations, and lies of the <em>Big Brother</em> house guests. Hurtful comments are a given on a show in which contestants compete in challenges in order to eat good food, control what happens in the house, and avoid losing out on a $500,000 grand prize.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I have been a secret fan of the reality competition since it began and regularly troll online forums like <a href="http://Jokersupdates.com" target="_blank">Jokersupdates.com</a> or <a href="http://ONTDBB.tumblr.com" target="_blank">ONTDBB</a> for the latest information about the house guests. Season 15 began in late June and features a standard cast (beautiful, young, athletic, slightly diverse). What has not been &ldquo;standard,&rdquo; however, is the <a href="http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/06/big-brother-15-house-the-racism-misogyny-and-homophobia-comes-out.html" target="_blank">abundance</a> of racist, homophobic, ableist, and sexist <a href="http://forums.jokersupdates.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Board=BBDiscussion&amp;Number=19470364" target="_blank">comments</a> uttered by the house guests (seen above). In seasons past, such low level attacks were rarely seen (at least on the CBS broadcast) and if they occurred, they were usually only said by one or two house guests at most.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This season has included offensive comments from numerous house guests, like Aaryn who said, when Helen, a Korean-American contestant was crying, that she should &ldquo;shut up, go make some rice.&rdquo; Or Spencer, who has referred to Andy, a gay contestant (and local Chicagoan) as a f-- and women in the house as c---s. Additional comments from four other contestants (Ginamarie, Jeremy, Kaitlin, and Amanda) have sullied the mood of the house.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The comments have sparked outrage among the public. A <a href="https://www.change.org/petitions/cbs-television-network-to-expel-current-contestant-of-big-brother-15-aaryn-gries" target="_blank">petition</a> to remove the most problematic house guest was created and both Aaryn and <a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/07/03/big-brother-ginamarie-zimmerman-loses-job-racist-comments/" target="_blank">Ginamarie</a> have been fired or dropped from their jobs outside of the house.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But similar to the Paula Deen fiasco, the public outrage reflects the ways in which we dissect offensive behavior: go big or go home.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We obviously should be talking about the problems with such statements. Although the term microagression is typically applied toward racially or ethnically-charged incidents, the act in itself can be applied to other marginalized populations. It&rsquo;s disappointing to think that a greater public outcry does not occur when smaller acts of racism or homophobia or sexism or ableism occur on television.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This diminishes the impact of incidences such as microaggressions. It pretends that racism or sexism or homophobia or ableism only exist when they play into our mainstream ideas of what racism or sexism or homophobia actually are. There is no racism unless the n-word is dropped. There is no sexism unless it is in the law to discriminate based on gender. There is no homophobia unless it is coupled with violence. Essentially, there is no discrimination until those outside of the marginalized group &ldquo;recognize&rdquo; it as so.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Big Brother controversy provides an ample opportunity for more media outlets to not only report on the nastiness and the the outrage, but to also spark further discussion on how these statements are not just &ldquo;flukes&rdquo; of the house.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a recent interview, newly evicted house guest Jeremy claimed that, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not racist, sexist, or homophobic&rdquo; despite the fact that he regularly called the women in the house &ldquo;bitches.&rdquo; If the house guests can&rsquo;t even recognize it when they do it, how can we expect people in other situations to recognize it when they witness it?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In the media, we can&#39;t just say, &quot;this is bad.&quot; We must also say, &quot;this is an example of the way some people think,&quot; and ask, &quot;What can we do to help end this?&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In order to better eradicate racism, homophobia, ableism, and sexism, we must actively recognize all forms of them, from the brief and commonplace forms of &ldquo;hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults,&rdquo; to the aggressive and confrontational interactions we read as offensive. And more importantly, we must also listen to and trust those who report when such aggressions &ndash; of all shapes and sizes &ndash; occur. Willful ignorance is no longer acceptable. In truth, it has never been okay.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><strong>Britt Julious</strong>&nbsp;writes about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></div></p> Thu, 25 Jul 2013 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-07/big-brother-15-opportunity-discuss-discrimination-all-forms-108178 Please stop talking about Rachel Shteir's looks http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/please-stop-talking-about-rachel-shteirs-looks-106810 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/557660277_cc189c6e8a.jpg" style="float: right; height: 485px; width: 300px;" title="Flickr/Curious Expeditions" />By this point, I&#39;m loath <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/where-are-chicagos-women-writers-right-here-106767">to give Rachel Shteir&#39;s <em>New York Times</em></a> piece more play. She made her point, people responded, she was given the chance to reply (and that response was something along the lines of, &quot;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-rachel-shteir-chicago-insulted-0424-20130424,0,4292947.story">I meant what I said and I&#39;m sorry if you little diaper babies can&#39;t take it</a>.&quot;) Fine. Let&#39;s move on to some other civic outrage, like how horrible our baseball teams are right now.</p><p>EXCEPT. One thing I can&#39;t get over is a particular way some Chicagoans have expressed their displeasure with Shteir: by attacking her looks (just read the comments on any of the pieces online about her.) I can&#39;t quite let this go by for the following reasons:<br /><br />A. It&#39;s inaccurate. Shteir may be a little cranky, but she is perfectly nice looking. I am an expert on looks and I&#39;m declaring this as a fact so don&#39;t even argue with it.<br /><br />B. More importantly, Shteir&#39;s opinion and her looks have absolutely nothing to do with each other. She doesn&#39;t even need to have a face or arms or legs to be allowed to have an opinion. She could just be a brain in a jar like<em> The Man With Two Brains,</em> being taken for a ride in a rowboat wearing a straw hat and wax lips. And she&#39;d still be entitled to her opinion.<br /><br />C. Is this a thing now? Only attractive people are allowed to criticize things? Because that means about 98% of all pop culture critics need to find new jobs.<br /><br />D. Criticizing Shteir&#39;s looks is breathtakingly sexist. Do I even need to elaborate on this? Are only pretty women allowed to have strong opinions? Or are pretty women the stupid ones? Basically, we&#39;re all screwed. But seriously, I&#39;m glad that the me of now has established a thick enough skin that it doesn&#39;t make me cry (too much) when people I don&#39;t know say I&#39;m ugly because I have a feeling that isn&#39;t the same as theirs. However, it makes me sad to think that there are other women or girls out there who might be afraid to say something in a public forum because of hearing the irrelevant but still hurtful retort that they&#39;re ugly. Unfortunately, even though most of us know that it&#39;s a lazy, flabby, irrelevant insult, it can still sting. Let&#39;s get rid of it.<br /><br />E. Most disappointingly, saying &quot;she&#39;s ugly anyway&quot; makes Shteir&#39;s point for her. It makes us, as Chicagoans, look brutish and clumsily defensive. They would <em>never </em>do that in New York! They would cut you down with some witty bon mot they once heard at some literary cocktail party and then make you feel bad about your real estate. Do we really want to establish the precedent that in Chicago, we&#39;re like &quot;Grr, me angry, me hate face&quot;? We can do better.</p><p>Look, if you want to fight Shteir&#39;s perceptions of the city, defend the city. Dare, even,&nbsp; to find a way to improve it. Maybe Shteir will eventually grudgingly admit that it&#39;s not that bad once she&#39;s gotten her wish and gotten the hell out of here.</p></p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 09:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/please-stop-talking-about-rachel-shteirs-looks-106810 Creating racial reality through advertising and film http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/creating-racial-reality-through-advertising-and-film <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/wv_20100820a_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Fifty years after the Civil Rights era, 60 years after the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans, and almost 150 years after America's abolishment of slavery, the vast majority of the images we see in film and on TV are still of <st1:personname w:st="on">C</st1:personname>aucasian Americans.</p><p>Why are media and movies so out-of-touch with the real diversity of <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">America</st1:place></st1:country-region>? <st1:personname w:st="on">H</st1:personname>ow did we get here? Where do we go from here?</p><p>Today, film contributor <a href="http://www.wbez.org/contributor/milos-stehlik" target="_blank">Milos Stehlik</a> continues an occasional series called <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/images-movies-and-race" target="_blank"><em>Images, <st1:personname w:st="on">M</st1:personname>ovies and Race</em></a></em>. Today, Milos spends the hour with two African-American trailblazers of the advertising industry. Shirley Riley-Davis is a winner of numerous advertising copywriting and creative awards during a career that has led her from <st1:city w:st="on">Pittsburgh</st1:city> to <st1:state w:st="on">New York</st1:state>'s "<st1:personname w:st="on">M</st1:personname>ad" Avenue to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on"><st1:personname w:st="on">C</st1:personname>hicago</st1:city></st1:place>. And <st1:personname w:st="on"><a href="http://www.colum.edu/academics/marketing_communication/faculty/hallen.php" target="_blank"><st1:personname w:st="on">H</st1:personname>erbert Allen</a></st1:personname> is a <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on"><st1:personname w:st="on">C</st1:personname>hicago</st1:city></st1:place> playwright, professor of marketing at Columbia College, and advertising strategist who innovated concepts of market segmentation.<br> <br> <strong> A film about the actual 'Red Ball Express,' which was 75% black:</strong><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KjAjBJ51dCY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="385" width="640"></p><p><br> <iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ggkLhL2xjdc" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe></p><p><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_Mk2Tca88Xo?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="385" width="480"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/7b3313ch6lU?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="385" width="480"></p></p> Mon, 19 Dec 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/creating-racial-reality-through-advertising-and-film